[Video] How to grow your business with hangouts

Grow your business with hangoutsIn this video, I will share with you how valuable regular hangouts can be for your business and how YOU can grow your business with hangouts.

I started out with an idea for a brand in Denmark in the summer of 2014 and because I have done regular hangouts every week for the past 6 months, I have accomplished:

  • Growing my e-mail list from 0 to 1000 readers
  • Creating a name for my brand
  • Attracting experts who willingly – for free – share their knowledge every week
  • Demonstrating my expertise and establishing myself as the go-to-place for actionable marketing advice for beginners
  • Turning a lot of listeners into paying customers
  • Creating a loyal following of brand ambassadors because of all the valuable content I give away every week
Create a consistent brand to get success with your hangouts #hangoutmarketing Click To Tweet

In a series of hangouts, I will share with you the best tips and tricks I know of when it comes to doing successful hangouts. Click here til sign up for the next hangout where I will go into detail with the tools I use.

Watch the video where I give you tips on how to grow your business with hangouts

The tool I mention in the hangout is Canva, which is a phenomenal tool for creating great images for your marketing materials – even if you are not a graphic designer.

Please remember to subscribe to my YouTube channel and sign up for the newsletter, to get the free list of tools for creating successful hangouts. Click the image to get the list:

Hangouts

Using Google Hangouts has changed my business

The story of how I discovered the power of using Google Hangouts…

When I first started by business, I found it really hard to get any real results with my e-mail list.

Sure, I got a subscriber here and there, but never the numbers I was hoping for.

Also, emails alone are challenging.

You can write a lot of good copy, but it takes a long time to really build rapport and let your audience get to know you and your style.

Moving on to video

So I dabbled in doing videos, which is great too.

The advantage of video is that you definitely get to show more of your personality. I did, however, find it time consuming and probably something that would turn out better if you get professional help doing it.

And I still didn’t see the results I was looking for

Webinars started the whole thing

I realized that webinars, which a lot of well-known marketers use, would perhaps be a better fit.

I started to look into different types of software and pros and cons.

Traditional webinars seem to work more or less without a hitch, but the format to me seemed a bit old-fashioned. I wanted something with more interaction, and I wanted something that is 100% live.

I am not a big fan of the automated webinars that lead you to believe that they are live, but are in fact just recorded. But that’s just me…

And in this search, I realized that there was a new option. Google Hangouts.

How using Google Hangouts has changed by business

I will share with you some other time, which tools I use (or you can simply grab my free list of resources here), but the reality is that using Google Hangouts together with a 3rd party app called Business-Hangouts, has had a huge impact on my business.

For a show I do in Danish, I have been able to go from zero readers to almost 1000 signups in just about 6 months just from doing regular hangouts. I’ve been interviewed about it and has established my name with that show.

And the best part is, that I haven’t done any paid advertising, I don’t spend all week preparing it, and I generally have so much fun doing it.

Some of the many advantages of using Google Hangouts (I recommend using it with a 3rd party app) are:

  • It’s affordable
  • You don’t need a lot of tools
  • You can do hangouts from anywhere with a decent internet connection
  • You don’t need a fancy studio
  • You can run them by yourself
  • You can teach and demonstrate your expertise to a big audience all over the world
  • You get to show your personality

You might be interested in finding out how you could do the exact same thing. Now, my show in Danish is about online marketing, but believe me when I tell you that you can do a show about almost anything.

Join me in the new hangout show Come Hangout with Lise and let me give you ideas for how you can start using Google Hangouts.

Click here for information on how to sign up.

HANGOUT WITH LISE(3)

 

Hangouts

Don’t let your vacation stress you out

You probably know the feeling.

Your vacation is within reach, but the days leading up to it seem too overwhelming and completely out of control.

You have loads of e-mails that you need to respond to, a number of projects that need to be finalized, and other tasks that need to be delegated to colleagues.

In your gut there is a sense of dread since you feel that everything has to be wrapped up completely before you can leave.

I even have a friend who says that he’s almost ready to give up vacationing altogether, simply because it is too painful to get ready for it.

Sound familiar?

See, the problem is this; in most companies new assignments will keep coming up, so trying to reach the “100% done”-mark means that you need to work non-stop day and night, and even then you may not even get there.

There will always be more to do. More stuff always comes up, more details need to be included and/or a little extra could always be added to certain tasks.

The worst part about it is that you end up starting your vacation with all of your assignments floating around in the back of your mind. As we all know it can take several days to unwind, especially if you don’t reach a certain level of closure before your vacation starts.

And truth be told; your employer is not going to pin medals to your chest for wasting your vacation on worrying about your job. Rather, they probably want you to come back relaxed, well-rested, and ready to go back to work again with a fresh mind.

The secret to how you really get ready for vacation lies, like so many other things, in how well you are prepared.

 Get ready without stress

My tips for you are:

  • Start preparing well ahead of time. If you try to get everything organized with only two days to go, you will most likely have trouble reaching your goal without running frantically.
  • Try to cut a deal with a colleague about handing over some of your projects well before you leave. If you can make the hand off, let’s say a week before your vacation starts, there are several advantages. 1) Your colleague will have an easier time taking care of the task, since you are still there to answer any questions. 2) You are able to concentrate on wrapping up the rest of what’s on your to-do list. If it seems a little odd to ask, remember that the deal goes both ways. Be ready and willing for the hand off when it’s your colleague’s turn to go on vacation.
  • Be realistic in regards to what you want to accomplish before your vacation. For some reason a lot of us seem to think that we can turn into super-beings in this situation and that we are able to get all sorts of projects done. Evaluate your work and if the project can wait, then let it wait.
  • Create a sensible overview of what needs to be done now and what can wait until you get back. Assign dates and actions to everything that needs to be done right after you’re back and add it to your calendar. This way you can rest assured that you don’t forget anything important when you return.
  • Prepare a simple to-do list and place it on the desktop of your computer. This way you can empty your head of activities and actions, which makes it so much easier to actually relax. Then when you return, you are up to speed in no time and can go through your list.

I hope these tips were useful for you and you’re welcome to share your best tips on how you get ready for vacation and unwinding. I’d love to hear them.

Also, don’t forget to subscribe to my newsletter so you don’t miss my next update and post!

~Lise

Blog, Front Page

Keep track of all your projects – free status report download

The biggest challenge for a lot of teams is how to keep track of multiple projects.

By now, I have done quite a lot of work for a company, which makes high tech products in set product cycles.

There used to be some overlap of team participants in each product launch, but once in a while, several projects ran alongside with no overlap. This often resulted in a necessity to ‘reinvent the wheel’ again and again.

What one team was working on was not shared with other teams, often resulting in confusion and chaos.

Sound familiar?

Your own careful planning is practically worthless if nobody else is kept in the loop, so that’s why it’s vital that the information is shared among both team members and between teams.

You can find a multitude of project management tools on-line, but if you don’t know where to start, I strongly recommend an old-school Excel sheet, which, for example, you can save on Google Sites. This way, the sheet is available for everyone involved. All team members can read it and relevant team members can edit it as well.

The trick is of course only to include relevant information. I have seen loads of status reports, which held absolutely no useful information.

Remember:

  • Write a clear status – be specific and concise. Remember that your update should make sense for others as well.
  • Make sure to include a next step for all projects – again concise; who should be doing what and when. This way you can do a short status at the next meeting regarding whether you have succeeded or not.
  • If you go through the list as a group, make sure it doesn’t take forever. The list is not meant to inform about everything around the project, it should only be about what’s relevant for the team.

In order for you to get started, I have uploaded a status report that I often use. Try it out and make changes to it in a way that fits your job.

Click here to download your template

Bonus tip: Even if you aren’t working in a team environment, the list is still extremely useful. It will force you to think ahead and write down actions you need to take at a specific time. Update the list once a week to hold yourself responsible for the progress you make in your projects.

Please – if you found this post to be helpful – share with all of your networks below!

Blog, Free stuff, Front Page, Managing your projects

Are you drowning in meetings?

Avoid meetings that are long and boringWhen you are responsible for a project, you know that you will end up in lots of looong meetings. 

  • And long, boring meetings can make even the toughest person break down and cry…Just the thought of a recurring weekly status meeting can make you raise your hackles and that’s a sure sign that it’s time for things to change.

    If you’re in charge of a large project, you have the power to change things. Unfortunately, a lot of meetings are run on autopilot without any thought as to whether they make sense or not.

    Have you considered a strategy for how you can add a bit of excitement to those meetings without loosing the quality?

    Is it even necessary for the project to have that meeting?

    My guess is that most companies could shave off 30-40% of all meetings – in some places the percentage might be even higher. Just as it’s a bad habit to cc everyone and their grandmother, it’s relevant to ask these questions before a meeting:

    • Are you sure that everyone invited to the meeting actually need to be there or would it suffice to send them the minutes afterwards? There is a tendency to play it safe by inviting a lot more people than you need.
    • Is it even necessary to have the meeting or could the same result be achieved by e-mail?
    • If you plan the meeting well, can you then cut down the meeting to a minimum, so that nobody is wasting time?

    In addition, you can take a good look at how you manage your meetings. In my view, it’s OK to be a little strict in this regard, since an incredible amount of time is wasted on bad meeting culture. If 10 people at an hourly rate of 200$ have to wait for 15 minutes before the meeting starts, because half the attendees are late, the company has spent 500$ on something that didn’t create a cent of value for anybody. You don’t need a calculator to figure out what a waste of time and money that is. Consider the following:

     

    • Have short meetings with a precise agenda
    • Insist on starting the meeting on time and stick to the schedule
    • All phones should be turned off during the meeting, and no checking of e-mails either
    • Why not stand up instead of sitting down? It calls for shorter speeches and more precise content
    • Make sure the meeting is moving forward – it just about kills you when you have a feeling that a meeting is going nowhere
    • If longer meetings are necessary, make sure that there are refreshments and regular breaks. You can’t expect an enthusiastic audience for hours on end with only a single cup of coffee as fuel.
    • Make sure minutes from the meetings are kept in a forum accessible for all – it’s up to the attendees to stay updated.
    • Don’t fall into the trap of PowerPoint Poisining

I hope these ideas will be of inspiration for how you can give the meetings at your office a serious overhaul.

How do you handle meetings in your company? Please share your thoughts by leaving a comment, and feel free to share with your network by clicking one of the buttons below.

 

Front Page, Uncategorized

How to scare your clients away with complicated writing

Write in a clear languageIf you aim for clear-cut communication with your clients, you need to keep your message clear

Have you ever tried receiving one of those incomprehensible e-mails that don’t make any sense no matter how many times you read it? It’s really frustrating, since you end up using an excessive amount of time trying to decipher the message. The likelihood of misunderstandings is huge.

If you work with projects and write to your clients on a regular basis, do yourself the favor of avoiding complicated writing. The only thing you accomplish if you don’t simplify your writing is that

  • your clients won’t understand you
  • your clients will see you as impersonal, maybe even arrogant
  • without intent, you create a distance between you and your clients

You might have texts that have to be really concise, but this doesn’t mean that they have to be boring. Even your business terms can be loosened up enough so that your clients get a feeling that there’s a real person behind the company.

The way you communicate, even on a smaller scale, is part of the whole image of your company, making it all the more important that your writing reflects your style and you’re your personality.

Check your correspondence and general documents and make sure that your message is clear. If necessary; have someone not related to your company read it and ask them if they understand it.

Emails: Watch out for those rushed e-mails you send out. They sometimes get so rushed, that the logic disappears. An innocent comment might be perceived as much more serious than intended, irony doesn’t always come across as such and a negative e-mail may seem even more negative for the receiver. In short, if your e-mail can be interpreted in more ways than one, you can be sure that it will be…

Presentations: Take a look at my blog post on PowerPoint Poisoning.

Tip: consider the structure of your presentation.

User guides, etc.: Remember that these documents should be understood by anyone without your specialized background. With that in mind, you should weed out complicated tech-stuff and terms only understood by insiders. Maybe you need to consider, whether you are using the right media for these types of communications. For example, a lot of user guides would be much more helpful as videos.

What works for me is that I try to put myself in the shoes of my clients. After I write something, I usually go through the text, divide it into shorter sentences, create bullet points, etc. If I need to construct complicated sentences in order to explain something, it will likely be difficult to understand, so that’s the first sign that I need to change it.

Which strategies work best for you?

Client Service, Front Page

What’s up with a no-reply email address?

no reply emailIf you deal with clients everyday, here is something to think about.

Have you noticed how many e-mails you get from companies, where the e-mail address is noreply@website.com? I’ve heard that it has to do with logistics, but it may be more damaging that you would think.

If I am a customer who has received a newsletter from a company and I want to get in touch asap to buy a product, how annoying is it if I discover, that I have to go looking for the right e-mail address?

Or if I have a question for my purchase, and I can’t reply to the e-mail by hitting reply – how happy and special does that make me feel?

If you are a small company, stay away from the no-reply e-mail addresses if at all possible – it makes you seem disinterested in your existing and potential clients.

 

Client Service, Front Page

What’s the most important thing in project management?

project foundationHave you ever tried being the one in charge of managing a project and wondered how you would ever succeed?

In simple terms, project management can be divided into 4 parts:

  1. Preparation
  2. Facilitation
  3. Implementation
  4. Evaluation

If you were to allocate time spent on the 4 parts, the general agreement among project managers is that you should spend around 40% on the first one – preparation!

The key to success lies in the foundation. The reason is this:

  • This is where you make sure that you understand the big picture
  • This is where you define exactly what the task is, who is doing what, how and why.
  • This is where you analyze and reveal challenges and obstacles and you make strategies for how to deliver the project you are asked to do.
  • This is where you challenge the person who assigned the task to you on all the weak links in the project.
  • This is where you set a common goal for the task and set the direction for the task.

Almost all projects that go wrong have flaws in the preparation stage one way or another, so even though it might be tempting to cut this process short, you will regret it later. If you want to build a house that lasts you need to start with a solid foundation.

 

 

Front Page, Project management